Showdown on Dunedin transport priorities

Many submitters made it plain they were more interested in the council providing increased...
Many submitters made it plain they were more interested in the council providing increased parking in the central city for motorists. Photo: ODT files
A showdown is looming about Dunedin transport.

Projects designed to prevent the central city from clogging up when the new Dunedin Hospital is built are up for debate at the Dunedin City Council next week and they are touted as having benefits for cyclists, pedestrians, public transport and the overall network.

However, many people who made submissions about the council’s draft 10-year plan made it plain they were more interested in the council providing increased parking in the central city for motorists.

The city council did not actively seek comment about the adequacy of parking in the central city, but about 170 people offered the view the city should be easy to navigate by car and it needed more parking spaces.

Thirty submitters opposed that.

Fifty-eight comments were about cycling facilities not being necessary, as they were not used or took up too much space.

The council received 214 comments that supported being ambitious about making the transport system a more sustainable one promoting walking, cycling and public transport.

It received 32 comments in opposition to that.

Transport is frequently a subject of heated debate at the council.

Councillors have tended to clash about car parks, and a proposed upgrade in George St has been accompanied by suspicion councillors did not listen to the views of significant sectors of the public.

The plan to build the new hospital in the central city, for which the amount of parking needed has not been determined, added another layer of intensity.

A series of transport projects was included in the council’s draft 10-year plan to offset the impact of the hospital being built.

They were efficiency improvements on a harbour arterial route ($16.6 million), a parking management and guidance system ($9.5 million), a bus priority route and corridor safety plan in Princes St ($6.6 million), safety improvements for cyclists and pedestrians in the central city ($6.6 million), park and ride facilities at Mosgiel and Burnside ($10.3 million) and bike hubs ($2.5 million).

Cr Jim O’Malley has argued the projects should be seen as a package.

Cr Lee Vandervis has decried the package as anti-motorist and Cr Jules Radich has argued for a parking building in St Andrew St.

Largely missing from discussions in recent months has been the notion the city could provide both more car parks and improved environments for walking and cycling.

Public feedback on the council’s proposed transport package was generally warmly positive.

However, a majority of submissions about Princes St were opposed to the measures proposed there.

The series of changes is part of a broader proposed package also being considered by the Otago Regional Council and NZ Transport Agency.

The organisations have generally presented a united front in promoting the work, although the transport agency has not indicated urgency in getting on with some of its share, such as investing in improvements in State Highway 1 near the hospital.

grant.miller@odt.co.nz


 

Comments

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It's best to start off from the correct viewpoint that this council is firmly anti-car and pro-cycle.
How else can one explain the never ending 'roadblocks' the DCC place in front of the VAST MAJORITY of those who use our roading network?!
From speed bumps nearly every 500 metres, to narrowing the main arterial routes, to removing of car parks, to ridiculous speed reductions along George Street, to DCC staff stating they want motorists out of their car and onto buses by eliminating car parking.
Oh, and if you think they aren't pro-cycle, just take a look at the massively wide cycle lanes down our vitally important one way system (you can't miss them, they are the ones where you struggle to see more than 10 cyclists per day!)

I think it'd be great for Dunedin to have a bus exchange building like Christchurch does. Somewhere warm and dry with an information desk, clear bus info and maybe a small convenience store and cafe. It doesn't incentivise people to bus when the main bus hub is outside with minimal coverings.

Lets face it, no matter how nonsensical, irrational or wasteful, the greens will push ahead with their anti-car agenda. And future ratepayers will not only pay for the money wasted now, but the money to be spent fixing the mess they are creating.

But that's OK, people need to see just how stupid greens' policies are. People need to experience the pain of retailers going broke or moving away from George St. Just because some people think Dunedin is flat and a bike mecca is just a wave of the wand away.

And no amount of money will appease the lycra-clad mob, $100 million of so for bike tracks, linking Mosgiel to Dunedin for 3 riders a day, just a drop in the bucket. We should be rapt to convert South Road or Hillside road to a bike only zone. Yeah, any minute now pensioners will be riding from Bellknowes into town and pedalling back up Stuart St. Just wait, keep voting green, Dunedin will transform, just hold your breath and hum at the moon, it will happen.

I understand your frustration but it's no good blaming the Greens. They did not sign the Paris climate accord and their party leaders are just puppets to the Labour Party. Ministry of Transport - Eliminating emissions across the transport sector supports the response to climate change. The transport sector currently produces 47 per cent of CO2 emissions, and between 1990 and 2018, domestic transport emissions increased by 90 per cent.
The reality is without making serious cuts in Agriculture emmisions I can see no choice but for our national and local governments to force us out of our polluting cars, regardless of what political party they belong to.
I would be interested in your ideas for how we can meet our climate targets without cutting car usage.

If nz removed 100% of CO2 and methane emmissions, it would alter the planets future by 0%. Do the maths.

@Pat no transport is nowhere close to 47% of greenhouse gases. It is 16%.
The reason people are linking this council with the Green movement isn't referring to central govt., it's because our mayor is a Green party member and let's that cause dictate all policy. It's autocratic govt, just like Justin Trudeaus ridiculous autocratic woke govt.

The figures are on the Ministry of Transport web page along with all their ideas of how they are going to get people out of cars. To be honest, I don't like it, I love my car, I love to drive and wouldn't take the bus even if it was free! And I am definitely no fan of Hawkins regardless of what party he belongs too but like it or not this Labour government is going to target pollution from cars and all city councils will be under pressure to help them achieve that.

The problen is two managers in dcc transport including mr Sargeant despise cars parking in town. The man lacks the expertise to deliver and relies on his bias at every opportunity. This issue will 100% end badly for the community

Thankfully NZ along with most of the world is already committed in trying to reach net zero emmisions in future. Even if YOU believe this nation is insignificant in the fight against climate change, it is happening. So instead of you and others moaning and whining about it and blaming the Greens, the Chinese, or some poor guy sat in an office, why don't you come up with some suggestions of how we as a city, a nation and a planet reach our promised goals. Look I get it, you don't see the emergency, you don't want change, you think a Muppet could do a better job at the DCC and that's ok, but the council can not just ignore the responsibilities and commitments already made.

Even if there is no humans on the face of the earth there will still be emissions, rotting trees, breathing animals, etc etc etc.

This council is all blame and no solutions.

Elderly people and young mums with kids are NOT going to cycle up Stuart Street in any conditions.

As for when it's icy, even my lycra-clad keen cyclist neighbour doesn't pedal.

The council shows NO interest in financially supporting the Mornington tramway - a venture that could genuinely reduce traffic, plus being a great tourist attraction.

They're typical Greenies - no idea on how to make an actual difference, they're happiest when causing the actual workers pain, misery and cost.

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